Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M31: The Andromeda Galaxy
Posted on 07/31/2014 10:49:52 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Andromeda is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda's image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is the 31st object on Messier's list of diffuse sky objects. M31 is so distant it takes about two million years for light to reach us from there. Although visible without aid, the above image of M31 was taken with a standard camera through a small telescope. Much about M31 remains unknown, including how it acquired its unusual double-peaked center.
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[Credit & Copyright: Jacob Bers (Bersonic)]
That is beautiful beyond words.
And the distances.
We can’t go there.
Humanity will probably never tour the Andromeda Galaxy, dropping in to see the quaint sights in this solar system and that.
And there are clusters of galaxies much further than the Andromeda Galaxy.
How mighty are our works.
I blame it on being tone deaf and having no sense of rhythm.
With my giant binos I can clearly see the core of M31. Even with all the light pollution I get here, however, I still see the faint spiral arms reaching the edges of my FOV. It doesn’t amaze me anymore, however, that the light is two and a half million years old. According to special relativity, the time frame of the light itself is stopped, and is no older than any other light.
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